So-called because it usually affects those who wear unhygienic shoes for several hours, athletes foot is a common foot health complication. The scientific term for the complication is tinea pedis, and it affects up to 10 percent of the population. In particular, athlete’s foot is a common fungal infection that occurs in the skin area between the toes. Usually, the condition feels itchy and looks like damaged skin. While treating the problem is not difficult, it’s often an unpleasant health complication. In fact, it can compromise one’s ability to put on regular shoes, due to the increased level of pain. More so, people who suffer from athlete’s foot usually to visit warm and moist places, which contain lots of fungi. The common places include lockers, shower rooms, swimming pools and more.
Symptoms of Athlete’s Foot
The primary symptom of athletes is that the skin on the feet becomes itchy, accompanied by a stinging or burning sensation. The skin also often becomes red, ashy, dry and weak. Usually, the symptom’s advanced in secondary complications when the conditions are left unchecked. Even more, the symptoms typically recur when the individual fails to treat the problem effectively. In the more serve cases, the skin can crack, and the individual might experience itchy blisters and swelling. Other bacterial infections can sometimes occur alongside tinea pedis. This is because the open skin makes the skin prone to bacteria. Left unchecked, then there is a strong likelihood of the condition spreading to other areas of the feet. Scratching the feet and the touching regions of the body can also lead to the spread of the disease.
Risk factors and Causes Factors of Athlete’s Foot
There are various factors that play a significant role in one’s likelihood of getting athlete’s foot. These factors include:
- Those who walk barefoot in wet areas that are frequented by others are at higher risk
- Sharing resources such as communal showers, locker rooms, swimming pools are also risk factors.
- Using extremely tight footwear is also believed to contribute towards the health complication.
- Wearing the same socks and shoes at work for an extended duration might also have negative effects on the skin.
- Patients who have diabetes and other complications are predisposed to suffer from tinea pedis.
How to Treat Athletes Foot
Usually, a significant portion of athlete’s foot complication resolves with the need for medication. However, the individual usually has to consider the appropriate lifestyle habits to avoid exposure to the fungus. The common ways to treat athlete’s foot include:
Hygiene! Hygiene! Hygiene!
The primary cause of athlete’s foot is exposure to the fungus, which is usually found in areas with high traffic. More so, using dirty items such as socks, shoes, beddings, and more, can increase one’s likelihood of getting the complication. Therefore, the conventional treatment for athletes foot involves keeping the feet clean at all times. Usually, this consists of washing the feet twice a day and using clean footwear as well. More than that, being able to keep the feet dry and practicing basic hygiene is crucial in stopping reinfection issues. Overall, common hygiene tips for preventing athlete’s foot include:
- Washing the feet twice a day using clean water and soap
- Washing footwear and clothing regularly
- Avoid sharing public resources such as public washroom without adequate foot care
- Evaluate the feet regularly for the onset of any skin issues
It also helps to keep your shoes clean. This is especially true for shoes that you use for performing physical activities in. Most sneakers these days have anti microbial properties. But should you ever come across a pair that don’t protect against microbe growth, then you’ll have to clean your shoes frequently yourself.
Using Topical Treatments
Topical treatments work exceptionally well, especially for users who maintain high standards of hygiene. In fact, the conventional treatment approach for the complication involves regular cleaning, and the application of topical medications. Since the outer layers of the skin get compromised by the complication and are prone to reinfection, topical treatment is recommended until all skin layers are healed. Depending on the severity of the condition, the individual might need 2-4 weeks of the topical application after the symptoms disappear. To ensure the best results, the treatment should cover all the affected areas of the foot including hands or toenails. Remember treating the feet is not always the perfect solutions. Once your footwear is infested with the fungi, using the again can lead to reinfection. Therefore, ensure that you clean your footwear thoroughly for the best results
There are several types of over the counter medications recommended for treating the condition. Usually, oral medications are not effective when used as a sole treatment solution. However, the medications are only often effective when combined with other techniques such as hygiene and topical treatments. The conventional treatments include Allylamines such as terbinafine, which works well for athlete’s foot. The oral work medications work as anti-fungal and antibacterial solutions in the body. They also help in boosting the body’s immunity towards health issues caused by bacterial and fungal infections,
Eating Well and Leading a Healthful Lifestyle
Believe it or not, but eating well and having the proper lifestyle habits contributes towards your recovery from the athlete’s foot. You have to eat well, in combination with maintaining high standards of hygiene. Athletes foot usually sometimes advances into blisters and wounds. More so, weak skin as a result of poor diets and lifestyle habits might increase one’s susceptibility to the condition. Therefore, consuming a balanced diet is crucial in promoting optimal healing of the skin. It also helps to support the functionality of the immune system which is crucial recovery.
Treating athlete’s foot is all about to have the correct lifestyle practices and making good decisions. The leading cause of athlete’s foot is lack of hygiene, especially using infected footwear. More so, sharing resources such as public washroom is also a leading cause. Usually, the health complication usually resolves itself within a few days. However, there are various proven techniques for addressing the difficulty. The conventional treatments for the complication include hygiene, topical treatments, and oral medications. Successful treatment often requires a unique combination of approaches, with oral medications being a measure of last resort.